WATERMELLEN   79,689
SparkPoints
60,000-79,999 SparkPoints
 
 
WATERMELLEN's Recent Blog Entries

Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

What do I wanna eat? What will taste best?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

*leaning in the fridge and surveying the possibilities*
*opening the cupboard and poking around*
*looking at the menu*
*checking out the banquet table*

Nope.

"What do I wanna eat?" is never a good question for me.

I wanna eat cheese. With buttered bread. Crusty hot white baguette, preferably. Potato chips (none in my cupboard, of course). Dip. Cookies. Or granola bars if that's all there is, And that's all there is. There. At my house.

Hmm. There is frozen pizza. I could do that. Yeah.

Handfuls of nuts? Yeah!! Spoonfuls of peanut butter? Why not. While the pizza heats up. Sure.

If I'm at a restaurant (where I was planning on a salad till I pick up the menu: that changes everything of course) what happens when I ask myself . . . What do I wanna eat? French fries? Always. Fat juicy cheeseburger? Of course. Large Coke!!

OK then, special occasion banquet table. What do I wanna eat? Deep fried everything, natch. And let's check out the desserts. Chocolate cheesecake looks great. And the hot fudge chocolate brownie sundae. And the chocolate mousse . . . gotta theme going on here. They're all sitting there. Why not one of each? To "share", of course. Or . . . maybe not. Just this once.

Gotta face facts. I wanna eat all of 'em.

In unlimited quantities, basically. Every day.

So "What do I wanna eat" isn't the question if the answer I'm looking for is . . . a healthy, fit and slim body.

What would be the right question? It's gotta be, " What do I need to eat?"

Food is fuel. Yes it is.

If I'm asking the right question, the Spark nutrition tracker is very helpful. That's because the nutrition tracker isn't just counting calories. It's counting carbs, fats and proteins. Mine is also set to track a whole whack of other nutrients: minerals and vitamins and fibre and . . . yeah.

So if it's suppertime and I've still got 400 calories to "spend" . . . what do I need? More protein? Probably. And calcium too? A little vitamin C still missing? Yup. So what to choose? If I ask myself, "What do I need to eat?", then the answer would be, maybe, some fat free Greek yogourt? Some fresh raspberries?

How self-depriving is that? Taking all the fun out of life. *big pout*

OK. News flash. Asking myself what I need instead of what I want is NOT self-depriving at all.

Remarkably enough, what tastes best is what my body needs. Maybe I don't believe it, not in the moment, when the cheesecake is screaming at me. But 20 minutes from now, if I eat the cheesecake I won't feel so good. Might still not be feeling so good tomorrow, even.

But if I eat the yogourt and raspberries: I will feel good. And does anything actually taste better than fresh raspberries?

Gotta remind myself: I'll feel good if I eat what I need. Not what I "want". What I REALLY wanna eat is what I need to eat. Really.

Gotta keep right on reminding myself of this. Every day.

The real treat is treating myself well.

Giving myself what I need. When I do that, consistently, and when I have a healthy, fit and slim body, there are so many other ways to have fun. Real fun.

Eating whatever I wanted whenever I wanted made me 230 pounds. And that was actually . . . no fun at all.



  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STONECOT 1/25/2013 7:16PM

    It wasn't eating whatever I wanted that made ME fat! It was eating large amounts of what I wanted! Feeling I had to eat calories that I was 'owed' even though I wasn't hungry made me fat too. Add to this eating in front of the TV, so I couldn't remember what it was that I'd just eaten, and eating because it was there and I didn't want it to go to waste, All these, at various times have contributed their bit to making me fat. So now, I eat whatever I want, and enjoy the planning and cooking of it, but at mealtimes when, or if I'm hungry. I eat at the table with the TV/computer OFF, and concentrate on my food and eat it and savour it slowly. When I start to feel full, whats left on my plate goes into the bin, and leftovers, unless I can resurrect them as something else for another meal, they go into the bin too. No snacks and no seconds and no tracking. Now I'm losing the weight again.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHIASMA 1/25/2013 5:08PM

    Actually, I've found that if I allow myself to eat whatever I want, I wind up wanting healthy foods nearly all the time. I don't feel the need to stuff my face with junk because I know I'm allowed to have it if that's what I really want. It's not the forbidden fruit so it holds no power over me. If I do decide to make the 'naughty' choice, then I eat it the same way I eat everything else... slowly, so I can properly taste/enjoy it. when I'm not hungry anymore, it stops being enjoyable so I stop.

But as you say... the healthy food actually tastes better and is what my body craves. So when I ask myself what I want, more often than not it's full of fruit and veg.

When I try to deny myself, the opposite happens.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SERASARA 1/2/2013 8:45PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
PACKERMANN 1/2/2013 6:05PM

    VERY HELPFUL!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
KAYYAK1 1/2/2013 1:30PM

  Want and need are not just for food. I made a little sign and put it in a frame a year or so ago just to remind me of the difference.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LAWANDMUSIC 12/29/2012 9:28AM

    I love spark people nutrition tracking. it tells me what I NEED. I try to get that done. Sometimes it is hard to get what I NEED. Rarely do I get to think about what I WANT.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KANOE10 12/28/2012 2:28PM

    Excellent blog. I got to 242 eating what I wanted also...eating what you need to eat for your health is the way to go.

Have a wonderful day. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MARYJEANSL 12/28/2012 11:35AM

  You are so right! What I 'want' is so often not what my body reeeeally wants (i.e., needs).

Report Inappropriate Comment
MANDAROSE80 12/27/2012 10:17PM

    Well said. I will definitely add this to my motivators. What do I need to eat? Staying away from the what do I want to eat question should be helpful for me as well. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LRSILVER 12/27/2012 8:18AM

    Great point of view. I sometimes think what do I want, but it should be what do I need. Did I get enought protein, carbs, calcium etc.
Thanks

Report Inappropriate Comment
EMILYDOODLE 12/26/2012 10:48PM

  great blog!

emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
TINAJANE76 12/26/2012 4:06AM

    Wow, sooo very true! I keep waiting for the moment in maintenance where I don't always want to go on a feeding frenzy whenever my next mealtime rolls around, but it still hasn't happened. I think I need to accept the fact that it might not ever happen. In the meantime, I'll go on eating what I need to eat which, like you said, always makes me feel my best. Hot buttered bread may seem like a good idea when you're in the moment, but fresh seasonal fruit not only tastes even more amazing, but also makes me feel a whole lot better in the morning!

Report Inappropriate Comment
FIRECOM 12/25/2012 10:26AM

    EXCELLENT POST thank you. This one is a keeper.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SWEDE_SU 12/25/2012 4:13AM

    great blog - one simple question changes everything!

Report Inappropriate Comment
STEVIEBEE569 12/25/2012 3:56AM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LIBBYL1 12/25/2012 2:26AM

  hot bread with butter and cheese! yum....

Report Inappropriate Comment
CM_GARDNER78 12/24/2012 10:18PM

    AWESOME! What do I NEED to eat! Perfect question!!! Great blog!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BUTTERFLITTER 12/24/2012 5:48PM

  An awesome post. So true - what we want is often not good for us. Hope this prevailing truth will sink in. Will try to eat what I need and not what I want (junk, junk and more junk)

Report Inappropriate Comment
NOTSOFLUFFYDAD 12/24/2012 12:09PM

    Thanks for sharing!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SWIM53055 12/24/2012 11:28AM

  Very timely for me to hear! Thank you!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ACTIONHEROFOX 12/24/2012 11:22AM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LESSISMORE2010 12/24/2012 2:06AM

    Love this! I need to adopt this mindset. Thank you for sharing!

Report Inappropriate Comment
FIT4MEIN2013 12/23/2012 9:55PM

    Fantastic!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
VALERIEMAHA 12/23/2012 8:36PM

    Extraordinary and profoundly insightful. The images on your SPage prove it!!!
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
OKIE_NANA 12/23/2012 5:03PM

    Very good insights. Wandering through the produce department, I saw dark green leaf lettuce, fresh raspberries, and pecans. Instead of carefully counting lettuce leaves, I ripped off the top, tore it up added the raspberries a few pecans and some slivered rutabagus for bite. Probably added a raspberry vineagrette dressing. Really good. Didn't fit my husband's idea of good food but I sure enjoyed it.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ARCHIMEDESII 12/23/2012 4:11PM

    Fantastic blog ! Very honest and very true. I spent many a year "eating whatever I wanted too". Figured as long as I was exercising, I could eat whatever I wanted. Well, that was a misconception on my part. If you want to lose weight, you really do have to be mindful of what you eat.

emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SEATTLE58 12/23/2012 4:04PM

    emoticon emoticon You said it! That's me to a "T"!! Loved it and emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
BERTA6978 12/23/2012 1:16PM

    Well Said! Thank you for reminding me to choose what my body needs. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
PHOENIX1949 12/23/2012 2:09AM

    Ah, Need vs. Want -- such a concise summary of the question at hand. Thanks for the wonderful reminder.

Report Inappropriate Comment
PENOWOK 12/22/2012 12:38PM

    I have that same struggle! Nicely put! What do I want versus what is my real priority? Fuel or fat?!

Report Inappropriate Comment
FIRECOM 12/22/2012 10:31AM

    NEWS FLASH. This is why SP is so strong on LIFE STYLE CHANGE. I know that I am committed to following this plan for the rest of my life regardless of whether I am at goal or not. I don't like knowing this, but it is true whether I "know" it or not.

Report Inappropriate Comment
TDWANDD2MYK9 12/22/2012 4:49AM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
BLUEJEAN99 12/22/2012 1:35AM

    emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
JUSGETTENBY42 12/22/2012 1:21AM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
NEWCHINELO 12/21/2012 11:32PM

    Beautiful!thanks for sharing.


Report Inappropriate Comment
CLAYARTIST 12/21/2012 10:44PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ILIKETOZUMBA 12/21/2012 10:36PM

    Your determination is great!! Way to go!

Report Inappropriate Comment
JAMER123 12/21/2012 10:26PM

    I think we all fight our food wants with our mind wants. You stated it very well. Thank you for and inspiring blog!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
TEENY_BIKINI 12/21/2012 9:38PM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ROCKYCPA 12/21/2012 9:31PM

    Good for you!

Report Inappropriate Comment
HEARTS116 12/21/2012 9:08PM

    emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LIVELYGIRL2 12/21/2012 8:12PM

  Very insightful.. the way you put i!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
SHOAPIE 12/21/2012 7:44PM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
CARRAND 12/21/2012 7:34PM

    Well said. You can eat anything you want, just not everything, all at the same time. It's all about making good decisions most of the time. Aim for fruits and vegetables, and lean protein, with some healthy starches and good oils.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JIBBIE49 12/21/2012 7:26PM

    emoticon Happy Holidays emoticon

Great to see your blog featured in the Spark Mail. What an honor. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ALIDOSHA 12/21/2012 5:33PM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ONLYTEMPORARY 12/21/2012 4:33PM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LINDAK25 12/21/2012 1:54PM

    Fantastic! You are so right!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MOMMY445 12/21/2012 1:48PM

    what a great blog! so well said and so well written! good luck on reaching your goals! you can do this! have a happy holiday and a wonderful new year!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PATRICIAANN46 12/21/2012 1:24PM

  Excellent Blog!!!!! So very well written. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment


Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

10 Extra Calories a Day . . . 911!!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

If I eat 10 extra calories a day, I'll put on 1 pound in a year. And next year. And the year after. And in 10 years I'll have put on 10 extra pounds.

If I eat 100 extra calories a day, I'll put on 10 pounds in a year. And next year. And the year after. And in 10 years I'll have put on 100 extra pounds.

What's an extra calorie? A calorie I don't need to maintain the pounds I want to sustain. Which takes about 10 calories a pound a day. About 1400 calories a day. Max,

What's 10 extra calories? Not much. Maybe a couple baby carrots.

What's 100 extra calories? Not much more. A big apple.

The carrots are healthy. The apple is too.

And calories from nutritionally-dense healthy foods are obviously better for me than calories from junk foods, or nutritionally empty foods.

But for weight maintenance, it doesn't matter. Extra calories from healthy foods pile on the pounds just the same as extra calories from candy or chips or Coke.

When I'm on the elliptical cross trainer at the gym, I can see that burning 10 extra calories takes me about 1 minute of really vigorous effort.

Which means I can never exercise enough to compensate for over-eating. Weight loss and weight loss maintenance for me are 80% nutrition tracking. At least.

OK then. It's not the season of healthy foods. I'm not eating too many spears of new young asparagus or fresh raspberries, or blueberries, or even lightly steamed shrimp.

It's the season of crunchy pastry-wrapped appetizers and bacon-wrapped appetizers and fatty dips and stuffing, gravy, butter-mashed potatoes, hot rolls and butter and turkey with crisp skin and cranberry sauce and veggies drenched in more butter and sauces and . . . . It's the season of shortbread and eggnog and Yule logs (dessert variety) and pies and special cookies and special candies and chocolate covered almonds and . . . . It's the season of too many alcoholic drinks on offer which reduce my resistance to all of the preceding!

I'm just reminding myself. Little pep talk here. Those calories do add up and my body is tracking them, whether *I* track them or not.

Grrrrrrr. Determination, resilience, eternal vigilance. All continue to be necessary. Every day.

That's because It's also the season of little black dresses! It's the season of sleek black velvet trousers with sparkly tops! Trying something new with the hair, the makeup! Not the season of muu-muus and huge shapeless Tshirts and elastic-waist track pants and . . . no no no.

And: there's a connection here. Right?

Yeah. So: call 911 vanity assist, please. Vanity assist!! If that'll help, I'm gonna work it . . . yes I am!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CATNCAG 9/9/2013 11:07AM

    What a great blog! It makes me realize that once I reach my goal weight I must continue on... I checked out your Spark Page also. Great pics & congrats on your weight loss & maintenance! U look great!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
NASFKAB 2/6/2013 5:36AM

  you can do it

Report Inappropriate Comment
NASFKAB 2/6/2013 5:34AM

  you can do it

Report Inappropriate Comment
SERASARA 1/9/2013 8:15PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
EMILYDOODLE 1/4/2013 10:22PM

  thanks for the reminder. i love them cookies and candies, had them in moderation. did exercise everyday

Report Inappropriate Comment
BERTA6978 12/23/2012 1:17PM

    Thanks for putting those extra calories in perspective and reminding us that whether or not we are tracking the extra calories, our bodies are.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CM_GARDNER78 12/23/2012 12:29AM

    Wow - that is totally true!! I never really gave "just 10 calorie" much thought...but wow! That's a big impact!! Great blog - lots of food for thought! Thanks for posting!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
LRSILVER 12/22/2012 7:37PM

    Thanks for the reminder.

Report Inappropriate Comment
FIRECOM 12/22/2012 10:28AM

    I fully agree. I recently added my coffee to my tracking and was really surprised to see that it carries a 5 kcal per cup penalty. Not much, but like you pointed out so well. Every calorie really adds up. Just calculate the annual impact of a single can of sugared soda pop over a year. ARRRRGGGGH.

Report Inappropriate Comment
TEENY_BIKINI 12/21/2012 8:16PM

    Friggin' awesome!

emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
PEACEHOPE1 12/21/2012 7:09PM

    I really enjoyed your blog, thanks for sharing! It put a smile on my face AND gave me a lot to think about.

Report Inappropriate Comment
BKLYNDIVA 12/21/2012 6:05PM

    Been there and done that lol, I guess that is how we all ended up here. Well stated.

Report Inappropriate Comment
_LINDA 12/21/2012 6:21AM

    Congrats on a well deserved popular blog post! It will be great for more people to see it! Ties in nicely with an article by Becky Hand on how all those tiny bites add up quickly in a day! Something I surely needed to read today!
And I will bet you look fabulous in those described outfits!!
Fantastic awareness and perception! You have mindful eating down pat!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
JENNIFERWEIDEN 12/20/2012 6:40AM

  You are a wonderful writer, and very inspirational. It is a good time for remembering that calories do count and that they do add up. I encourage those of you who have not read it yet (or visited the site or heard the free podcasts on youtube or itunes) to inform themselves about The Smarter Science of Slim, where I learned that NOT all calories are equal, some foods make you hoard fat and some you can eat basically without limits (don't worry about asparagus!). The science is amazing and very well studied, it's all backed up by 1000's of pages of research and it will change your whole outlook on this. Give it a shot!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PENOWOK 12/17/2012 4:02PM

    Thanks for the pep talk!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
NEWTINK 12/17/2012 3:25PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
FAVORITEAUNT84 12/17/2012 11:54AM

    Great perspective!

Report Inappropriate Comment
FARIS71 12/17/2012 9:59AM

    Tis the season for little black dresses indeed. Good reminder!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DJSHIP46 12/17/2012 9:44AM

    emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
NILLAPEPSI 12/17/2012 8:52AM

    Yes, you work it!! emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SIZE8NOTSOMUCH 12/17/2012 7:43AM

    You put it in such a great perspective. THANK YOU. Sometimes we need THAT kick in the pants!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CICELY360 12/16/2012 10:45PM

  Good blog

Report Inappropriate Comment
ROCKYCPA 12/16/2012 9:21PM

    Good blog - thanks for sharing!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CLAYARTIST 12/16/2012 8:06PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ILIKETOZUMBA 12/16/2012 6:49PM

    Awesome pep talk! And heck YEAH it's the season of festive outfits!! LOL I love the vanity assist. :) A perfect way to stay motivated! Thanks! :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
BRENNA84 12/16/2012 6:24PM

    so true! thanx for the reminder!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MARYJEANSL 12/16/2012 5:39PM

  911 Vanity Assist - I love it! I also bought tons and tons of wonderful veggies at the Farmer's Market today. I refuse to think about the party I am going to tomorrow night!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PHEBESS 12/16/2012 5:22PM

    So on target!

It's also the season of mandarin oranges, and winter squash, and those yummy soups you make, and oatmeal with apples for breakfast, and roasted root vegs. Right?

Report Inappropriate Comment
NEWCHINELO 12/16/2012 5:01PM

    Oh my God! . . . Thanks for sharing and reminding me.

Report Inappropriate Comment
BUTTERFIYEMERGE 12/16/2012 4:47PM

    emoticon This was timely!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GODS_TEMPLE 12/16/2012 4:43PM

    Thanks for the reminder. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ALIDOSHA 12/16/2012 4:23PM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
WALLINMW 12/16/2012 3:53PM

  Great blog! It all adds up.


Report Inappropriate Comment
WALLINMW 12/16/2012 3:52PM

  Awesome my friend!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WILSON1926 12/16/2012 3:10PM

    emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
KARRENLYNN 12/16/2012 2:59PM

    But oh that list of not good for me foods is just whispering to me! You are right though, too much of any food good or bad will cause trouble.

Stay strong, and have a happy healthy holiday season!

Karen

Report Inappropriate Comment
JOANNHUNT 12/16/2012 2:45PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon


emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/16/2012 2:51:57 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
DALID414 12/16/2012 2:27PM

    Oh my! Good thing I ate before reading the list of the season foods!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PATRICIAANN46 12/16/2012 2:08PM

  So well said........ emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
FIT4MEIN2013 12/16/2012 1:28PM

    This is one of the best blogs I have read. Excellent! Merry Christmas! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
HEARTS116 12/16/2012 1:21PM

    emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
TINAJANE76 12/16/2012 12:29PM

    Love this! I'm totally gearing up for the many challenges of the next few weeks. My vanity alert has been set off!

Report Inappropriate Comment
JULIERAE41 12/16/2012 12:03PM

    You and I are on the same Holidays page! I decided at Halloween to be a Holiday Warrior and even set it as one of my goals! I determined the period between Halloween and Easter is the fat gaining time for me. NOT THIS YEAR! Way to go! Thanks for writing this blog!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SHOAPIE 12/16/2012 11:41AM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LIVELYGIRL2 12/16/2012 11:32AM

  unnerving way to put it

Thanks for the well written blog emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
NEWMOM20121 12/16/2012 11:09AM

    great blog

Report Inappropriate Comment
IAMAGEMLOVER 12/16/2012 10:33AM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LIFETIMER54 12/16/2012 10:07AM

  emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
WORKNPROGRESS49 12/16/2012 9:57AM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
DOLLFACEDX 12/16/2012 9:37AM

    Exactly right. . .just cause a food item is nutritious doesn't mean it's appropriate to eat too much!

Report Inappropriate Comment


What I've Learned From My Wonder Dog, Charlie!

Sunday, December 09, 2012



I've read a couple of interesting insights into dog "ownership" recently.

Here in Canada, several universities have experimented with therapy dogs to assist students get through the stress of exam time. The students are away from home, under lots of pressure to do well in a tight job economy with soaring tuition fees . . . and student suicide rates are alarming. But: there are still lots of cynical comments about how students should just "toughen up"!! And also how exposure to trained therapy dogs will give students a false impression about how soothing and calming dogs actually are: because lots of dogs (especially young puppies) can be yappy and demanding and . . . . .

Then TEENYBIKINI has had a recent blog on just that topic: dogs (puppies in particular) can drive you nutz!

True enough. I've had demanding dogs. Our basset hound, Rufus, who could open the fridge and bite into every bag of milk and scatter carrots (before and after "processing") all the way across the kitchen floor. Our Irish water spaniel, Sabrina, who wore a groove in the back yard and jumped against the patio door vertically, smearing mud from top to bottom. A childhood spaniel, Skippy, who bit the postman . . . and lots more similar tales to be told.

Charlie had lots and lots of puppy socialization and obedience classes. He is extraordinarily intelligent: high IQ. And our other dogs had sufficient IQ plus schooling opportunities. But Charlie wanted to learn.

That's because Charlie really is a wonder dog. High EQ. He was born that way and we really can't take much credit for it. Our golden retriever's registration name is "Heart of Gold", and his formal handle is absolutely appropriate.

So what's Charlie taught me?

1. Be companionable. Golden retrievers are bred to sit quietly in a duck blind beside their hunters waiting to fetch the ducks. Charlie is happy just to be with me. He lets me know with his wise brown eyes and his ready smile. Life doesn't get better for Charlie than being right beside me.
2. Be patient. It could be a long cold day in the duck blind (or sitting under my computer desk: whatever). That's OK with Charlie. I can learn to be more patient. Whatever's happening will pass.
3. Greet every family member at the door whenever they come home. Nope, I don't wag like Charlie does. I don't bring a carefully selected stuffed toy to the door, the choice of toy often uncanny in mirroring the returning person's emotional state. (Sheep? Monkey? Fawn?) But greeting, I can handle that. And I can try to be responsive to the mood of my family members, like Charlie is.
4. Never judge, no matter what. There is no sin I can commit that matters to Charlie. Ever. And I need to be less judgmental too. To let people be.
5. Be joyous and generous with that joy. Charlie is. Being around Charlie's joy multiplies joy. For all of us. Even if the rest of us don't have infinitely soft golden fur!

The worst thing about having a dog like Charlie? It's not forever. Charlie is 8 years old now. You can see his muzzle and eyebrows are getting whiter.

So we have to cherish Charlie every day.

And we have to cherish each other every day.

I can't let Charlie down. I have to try to be as good a person as Charlie is. As good as he believes me to be. And the effort of doing that?

It's transformative.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WILLOWBROOK5 12/23/2012 10:06PM

    How did I miss this blog? Charlie sounds fabulous with lots to teach those around him and endless love to offer. Give him a kiss on the nose for me. :-)

Report Inappropriate Comment
SWAZY33 12/11/2012 1:11PM

    So true...
emoticon = unconditional emoticon
and they always seem happy emoticon



Report Inappropriate Comment
NANCY- 12/10/2012 7:28AM

    What a beautiful blog. It is true that dogs can be challenging, but then as you have in Charlie, there are true treasures. What a wonderful gift to have in your life.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SCOOTERGIRLOZ 12/10/2012 1:39AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

Dogs are wonderful and a joy to have around. Thanks for your insight as I often wonder if I truly make Memphis happy. I feel guilty whenever I see him laying around with big sad eyes. But then, no matter what time it is when I finally am ready, Memphis bounces up and makes for the door. So maybe he is happy just to be around me.

May you and Charlie have an enjoyable long time together.

Report Inappropriate Comment
_LINDA 12/9/2012 9:42PM

    Amen! I absolutley ADORE this wonderful photo of Charlie! Yes, the white face is a painful reminder that our companions get old and die too, and far too soon :( I hope you can enjoy many more special years with your buddy,
Hugs,
Linda

Report Inappropriate Comment
DALID414 12/9/2012 4:45PM

    Awe! If Charlie was a man he'd be perfect!! emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ONMYMEDS 12/9/2012 4:31PM

    A beautiful blog. There is a lot we can learn from our animal friends, if we have the intelligence to do so.

Report Inappropriate Comment
PHOENIX1949 12/9/2012 3:53PM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
1CRAZYDOG 12/9/2012 3:49PM

    Awwwwwww . . . my dog is Mr. Spot the Wonder Dog and he's 11 (yup . . . got the gray around his muzzle too and is slower than he was, but still a puppy @ heart!) Our furbabies are treasures! HUGS

Report Inappropriate Comment
NITTINNANA 12/9/2012 3:48PM

    Delightful!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PHEBESS 12/9/2012 3:30PM

    Big smile on my face, big hug to Charlie! (And you!)

Report Inappropriate Comment
SLENDERELLA61 12/9/2012 3:10PM

    Beautiful blog! I love Charlie vicariously already. Our Kahlua is definitely an asset to our family, although our sheltie who lived 16 years will never be replaced in my heart.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ONEKIDSMOM 12/9/2012 2:35PM

    emoticon Great lessons! Well taught, Charlie!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CARRAND 12/9/2012 2:32PM

    What a wonderful dog you have! Unfortunately I have not been that lucky with dogs, but I see why Charlie is a delight to you and a good example. We all need to be less judgmental.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CRYSTALJEM 12/9/2012 2:31PM

    Aw, ya made me get all blubbery again! Charlie sounds like my kInd of guy. You are so right. And we think we're training them, but they're pretty great teachers too.

Report Inappropriate Comment


I OWN Self-Gifting!

Friday, December 07, 2012

www.theglobeandmail.com/life/holiday
-guide/holiday-survival-guide/self-gif
ting-whos-at-the-top-of-your-holiday-s
hopping-list-you/article6036488/


OK, I'm not the only one.

The Toronto Globe and Mail tells me that people spend around $237 (about 20%) of their Christmas gift budget on . . . themselves!

What are you buying yourself this Christmas?

And are you shopping for you in the stores? On line? Or both??

No big indulgences from me to me, actually . . . but there have been a few bargoons hunted down on ebay and etsy. Some "new" wool suits for work at amazing amazing prices: with shipping, about $40 each.

And last weekend I had to buy some new brown boots given my old ones had collapsed completely. On sale again (with a sharply discounted second pair of shorty beige cowgirl boots, not expensive at all). (That's because I hate to pay full price for anything.)

Biggest self-gift?

NOT overeating. NOT overstuffing with holiday indulgences.

Tracking every day.

Sticking with the non-caloric indulgences. So that my 29" waistbands will still fit when those etsy suits arrive in the mail!

Highly motivating, this self-gifting stuff!! (And nowhere close to $237 either.)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FIRECOM 12/25/2012 10:30AM

    Self gifting is a treasured art form. When I do gifting to others, I always select gifts that I would like to receive as well.

Money is very tight for us in our Autumn of our lives but we make do and love the life we have.

Report Inappropriate Comment
TBANMAN 12/9/2012 4:40PM

    Material self-gift - Oscar de la Renta micro fleece pj's - half off at Costco!

Non material self-gifts - not cheating. Everything in moderation. Continuing to exercise. Hitting my 2012 fitness target of 12,000 minutes. Self-compassion.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CARRAND 12/8/2012 9:57PM

    I am a master at self-gifting!

This year i bought some new furniture for the house. I'm calling it my gift to my husband, but of course I'm enjoying those glass fronted book shelves as much as he is.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ADVENTURESEEKER 12/8/2012 12:26PM

    Way to go on the self-gifting of health! It sure is important :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
NANCY- 12/8/2012 8:36AM

    I love your self gift of taking care of yourself.

I will be the first to admit to self gifting. with my birthday just 6 days before Christmas. I find that it is difficult to pass up a bargain of a treat. I have a me day. Get my hair done, go out and enjoy the decorations and if I find a bargain or two why not. My recent gift, some shoes that I have been wanting/needing. The two pairs were an upgrade replacement.

I will pay full price for a gift to another... and my shopping is usually done before December. Thanks for the reminder that the best gift is taking care of ourselves.


Report Inappropriate Comment
SUSANNAH31 12/8/2012 12:21AM

    When we are shopping for others at Christmas, it's a great time to take advantage of the sales and get an item or two for ourselves. I'm a believer!

You are so right, though. The biggest gift we give ourselves is all the hard work we do here on Spark People - and the good results from it.

emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
_LINDA 12/7/2012 11:40PM

    Very well done!! What a score!! It would be ludicrous to pass up such great bargains!
I am not a shopper. I hate it really. I don't buy things for myself unless I absolutely need something and even then I am very fussy and what I get has to be perfect. If it wasn't for Mom shopping around and finding all those fabulous clothes for me, I would still be in sweat pants :P. I am a simple person, and the only thing I want in clothes is comfort and warmth. I would like to buy my loved one gifts, but they never let on anything that they want. Its really hard to buy for adults and kids that have grown up. Mom buys them clothing like hoodies and PJ's, so she has those bases covered.
I always track too :) My gift to myself is staying as fit and healthy as I can be.
Have a Wonderful Weekend!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DALID414 12/7/2012 10:12PM

    emoticon Where you spying on me? emoticon I was just out shopping, with the intent of getting my mom and sister off my list, walked out with ONLY stuff for moi! I'll to their gifts, promise!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BUNNIEBUILDER 12/7/2012 10:04PM

    when I buy stuff for myself during the holidays, I wrap them and write It's from Lulu... which is my dog lol I cant help buying stuff for myself when everything is sooo much cheaper during the holiday time!

Report Inappropriate Comment
1CRAZYDOG 12/7/2012 10:02PM

    Good job!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ONEKIDSMOM 12/7/2012 9:57PM

    Oh, we could have a conversation about this self-gifting thing, Ellen. I think my 2012 "retail therapy" of self-gifting probably tops a whole buncha folks. But then again, we are talking a lot of pent-up demand... and that article was right on the money (pun intended) about the first purchase being the hardest, and the follow-ons being easier.

However, investing in one's health? No question it is money well spent!

Report Inappropriate Comment
TJCADDO 12/7/2012 9:44PM

    Love that you have stayed within budget money-wise and calorie -wise. It's going to be a good year!

Report Inappropriate Comment


Joy's Rule of One: Holiday Eating!

Thursday, December 06, 2012

ca.shine.yahoo.com/video/shine-weigh
t-loss-tips-holidays-000000919.html


What a great video with Joy Bauer on how to survive the endless array of seasonal holiday treats, without ballooning up!

My fave tip? Yup, the "rule of one" . . . one of everything, moderate portion size. One appetizer, one drink, one plateful, one dessert. And then she offers some additional help in choosing that "one".

Here's to getting through the next month feeling less stuffed than the turkey!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STARDUSTD 12/12/2012 12:34PM

  Thanks for sharing! It helped to heighten my holiday resolve. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
PHEBESS 12/7/2012 5:07PM

    My rule of thumb is similar - except I don't eat anything I don't absolutely love! If it's there, I get to eat one moderate portion. If everything there is mediocre (to me), I can skip it. And dessert should be either chocolate, or panna cotta - I can leave pretty much anything else.

Because really, why waste calories on food I don't love?

Report Inappropriate Comment
NANCY- 12/7/2012 7:41AM

    Thanks for sharing this. The simple rules like this help us be selective yet enjoy.
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUSANNAH31 12/7/2012 7:18AM

    This was very good advice. I also like the tips she gave about the dips that are best: salsa & spicy mustard - as well as the nutritional hummus, bean dip, and guacamole.
Thanks for posting it.

emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
PMRUNNER 12/7/2012 5:59AM

    Thanks for sharing, very sensible advice.

I haven't been looking forward to the holidays due to the excess food. If I can incorporate some of these ideas, I should be able to come out of the holiday spree in a better state.

Hope you have happy holidays!

Report Inappropriate Comment
NUOVAELLE 12/7/2012 1:49AM

    Rule of one and being carefully selective! I think those two tips can take us through the holidays unharmed.
Great link! Thank you for sharing!

Report Inappropriate Comment
_LINDA 12/7/2012 12:48AM

    Awesome link! I am lucky in one meal. My apartment building's meal is strictly serving controlled -they dish it out and they only give you one tiny dessert -no worries about being overstuffed at that one! But the upcoming bridge club one -has healthy enough fare -wraps and soup -but you can go for seconds if there are leftovers which there tends to be of the wraps and dainties. Then of course, when my Mom decides to hold hers -she always overdoes it and I am getting 4,000 calories a day eating leftovers for the week :PPP. I like the idea of portion control, but my little fridge freezer is too small to freeze the leftovers to enjoy another day :(
I too, like that rule of one and keeping it to things you can't get through the year -like all the German specialty treats that come out now-my favorite is gingerbread hearts filled with plum fruit and coated with dark chocolate -this is heaven in every bite and incredibly is only 130 calories for THREE of them! With low fat too! I get them at London Drugs - was on sale for only 2.36 for a package!
Here is to keeping it real!
emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
TRYINGHARD1948 12/6/2012 11:29PM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
DONNACFIT 12/6/2012 10:53PM

    Thanks for sharing :) Hope you have a healthy and blessed Christmas season!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DALID414 12/6/2012 9:53PM

    Love it!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PHOENIX1949 12/6/2012 8:56PM

    Nice reinforcement for items most of us 'professional dieters' are aware of. Awareness and practice definitely different from one another. Thanks for sharing.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CRYSTALJEM 12/6/2012 8:55PM

    And here I was hoping that one of everything translated to one of every item on the table. I knew it had to be too good to be true. LOL

Comment edited on: 12/6/2012 8:56:09 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
1CRAZYDOG 12/6/2012 8:33PM

    emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
PHILTRILL 12/6/2012 8:30PM

    That is really a great way to be around family, friends, co-workers etc.. this season with all the different varieties of food. Just stick to 1 portion size. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
WILLOWBROOK5 12/6/2012 8:28PM

    Really helpful. Thanks for sharing! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MSROZZIE 12/6/2012 8:26PM

    That's planning ahead. You will surely enjoy the holiday season. Good luck! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/6/2012 8:26:21 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
ONEKIDSMOM 12/6/2012 8:25PM

    To moderation, and choices! Nothing tastes as good as fit feels!

Report Inappropriate Comment
X5X52000 12/6/2012 8:24PM

    emoticon emoticon for sharing!

Report Inappropriate Comment


First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 Last Page